A caregiver colleague living in Kentucky told me a very sad story about an 87 year-old woman who had recently surrendered her keys and driving privileges. Very early one weekday morning, she decided to walk to a local fast food restaurant for coffee. It was still dark, and a driver did not see her crossing the busy highway, struck and killed her.
Aside from the fact the woman was 87; there were probably a number of reasons why she was no longer driving. Perhaps, her cognitive thinking had declined; vision and hearing were impaired; or reactions and reflexes had slowed. Whatever the reason – or reasons – the fact remained when she was behind the wheel, she was putting herself and others in danger. Unfortunately, this elderly woman suffered a tragic and rather ironic fate.
In consideration of Older Driver Safety Awareness Month, it is important to realize there usually comes a time when a difficult conversation about older driver safety and relinquishing the keys has to happen. I can probably count on one hand the number of seniors I’ve met over the last decade that did not vehemently oppose giving up their right to drive. However, in spite of the protests, their safety and that of others had to be the number one consideration.
Here are four suggestions when approaching the subject of older driver safety with a senior loved one:
- Seniors relish their independence, so no longer being able to drive will definitely affect that. Make specific arrangements with a senior driving service, like our Safe Wheelchair Transport Service, so they won’t feel home-bound and dependent.
- Have a two-sided dialogue with your senior loved one. Listen to what they have to say, and work together toward a positive resolution.
- Strong-willed seniors can be very stubborn. It may be necessary to solicit the help of a trusted friend or doctor.
- When all else fails, hide the keys or disable the vehicle. Safety is a priority, not only for your senior loved one, but for everyone else on the road!
Caregivers are an answer to transportation woes when age, illness or disability prevents seniors from driving. Independence remains intact when they have an in-home caregiver to help with transportation assistance for taking care of personal errands, keeping doctor appointments, and more, promptly and safely. I am available for a FREE consultation to discuss specific needs and match the perfect compassionate caregiver to help. If only the poor woman in Louisville had someone who could’ve helped her that dreadful morning.
If you or a senior loved one does not require in-home care but have a need for safe transportation assistance, with or without a wheelchair, please call our Safe Wheelchair Transport Service today. 727.942.2539
Home Helpers® is honored to have received the Provider of Choice 2017 & 2018 awards from Home Care Pulse, and we proudly serve male and female seniors in Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Holiday, New Port Richey, Trinity, Port Richey, Hudson and surrounding areas. Home Helpers®…Making Life Easier℠ 727.942.2539